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Highland Council seeks feedback from community councils in the Cromarty Firth, and Tain and Easter Ross wards amid plans for off-street car parking charges in parts of Ross-shire; phase one of the proposals covers five wards in the Highlands, with Wick and East Caithness, North West Sutherland, and Badenoch and Strathspey being the others


By Philip Murray


Off-street car parking charges are being explored in parts of the Highlands.
Off-street car parking charges are being explored in parts of the Highlands.

CAR parking charge plans for parts of Ross-shire are set to go out to community councils for feedback.

Highland Council has announced that information packs regarding the proposals will tomorrow be issued to community councils and other stakeholders over the developing plans for off-street parking charges.

Back in October a special meeting of the former Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee saw councillors agree a new approach to the introduction of car parking charges across the region that will see a surplus of income split 50/50 with local areas.

And, at today’s (Thursday) meeting of the new Economy and Infrastructure Committee members had the opportunity to discuss the progress made in implementing the first phase of the policy.

The first phase includes council owned car parks across five council areas – including the Cromarty Firth, and the Tain and Easter Ross wards.

The other three are Wick and East Caithness, North West Sutherland, and Badenoch and Strathspey.

Committee chairwoman Cllr Trish Robertson said: “It was good to have the chance to review progress made to date with the first phase of the roll-out.

"The next stage is all about gaining feedback from community councils and other stakeholders to help inform the next step in the statutory process.

"The [information] packs being issued to phase 1 stakeholders tomorrow are very clear and provide detailed information and a questionnaire.

"I encourage input from stakeholders at this stage as their local insight will assist the team to review and, where appropriate, amend proposals before going to a wider public consultation.

“The public have told us they would like the council to look at income generation opportunities rather than reducing services.

"Members have already agreed that the surplus money generated from the introduction of off-street car parking charges will be split equally between local areas and services. This will allow for councillors to target priorities within their community such as improving infrastructure and investing in facilities.”



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